Can You Get a DUI While on a Boat?

My practice is predominantly in South Florida. We're surrounded by water at every opportunity, which means people enjoy going on a personal watercraft and boats alike. A very common question is, "Hey, if I'm out there having a few drinks on the water, can I still be arrested for a DUI type of crime?" And the answer is yes. The Florida legislature has made it a crime to be boating under the influence. Although the statutes are a little different and the procedures are too, generally speaking, you're looking at the same potential penalties, the same risks of a prosecution, much as you would be if you were driving.

Now, boating presents additional challenges as well, because unlike when you're driving a vehicle where we could potentially challenge the basis for why the police officer stopped you in the first place. You can't do that in a boating case. 99.9% of the time, you can be boarded by a law enforcement agency on a boat for what they call a routine safety inspection, and whatever they find, they find.

Yes you can be accused, and that's why you have to be super careful. Of course no matter how careful you are, sometimes mistakes will happen, whether it's for you or the law enforcement wrongfully accusing you.

If you or somebody you know has been accused of boating under the influence, you need a good lawyer, one that has the experience of handling these types of cases, because they are a little bit unique. Usually the law-enforcement agencies that investigated them are not the typical ones, for example Florida Fish and Wildlife.

I've handled DUI and I have the experience to defend your case, so call me anytime and I would be happy to discuss with you.

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